IHC moved to put US diplomat on ECL

April 11, 2018


Islamabad High Court has been moved to place on exit control list the US diplomat, who caused death to a Pakistani citizen in a collision with his vehicle in Islamabad.

Colonel Joseph Emanuel, the US military attaché was driving the car that hit a motorbike, killing 22-year-old deceased, Ateeq Baig on the spot and injuring his cousin Raheel.

Following the incident, Ateeq’s father Muhammad Idrees lodged an FIR against the US diplomat at Kohsar police station.

The US diplomat ‘crossed a red signal’ and rammed his SUV into Ateeq’s motorcycle when he was passing by Margala road in F8 sector, said the father in complaint.

Idrees filed his petition to IHC under Article-99 of the Constitution. He pleaded with the court to direct the interior ministry to place the US diplomat on ECL until the case is pending before the court.

The aggrieved father requested the court to issue directives to police high-ups for transparent investigations of the case.

Reaction of Pakistan government 
On the other hand, the Foreign Office summoned the US ambassador. Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal also tweeted: “An accident involving a US embassy vehicle occurred in Islamabad. MOFA is looking into the matter. Investigations are being carried out.”

A spokesperson of the US Embassy also said they were aware of the incident and were cooperating with Pakistani officials in the investigations.

No respect for Pakistan law?
Sentiments run high when such incidents happen. After the accident, people started talking about the Raymond Davis case. On January 27, 2011, Davis, a CIA contractor, shot two men in Lahore. A car coming to rescue Davis killed a third man, Ibadur Rahman, in a hit-and-run while speeding on the wrong side of the road.

Davis’ arrest severely strained relations between the US and Pakistan government. In Pakistan, it raised anti-American emotion to an all-time high. The CIA contractor was released on March 16 that year after the families of the two deceased men “pardoned” him after receiving blood money. Judges then acquitted him on all charges and Davis immediately returned to the United States.

A more recent case is of Chinese engineers attacked policemen deployed for their security this Wednesday.

Police officials said the Chinese engineers and other officials wanted to leave their camp in Khanewal and visit a “red-light” area Tuesday night. They resorted to agitation when denied permission to leave the camp without being accompanied by security officials.

Chinese nationals have attacked local police in Pakistan in 2016 as well. They clashed with the police when the Chinese nationals insisted on staying at a construction camp at night and the former opposed the idea due to security reasons.

Strict security measures are in place for Chinese nationals working in Pakistan. Last year, Daesh claimed responsibility for kidnapping and killing two Chinese nationals in Balochistan.

Waiving immunity
Is there a precedent for waiving immunity of a diplomat?
Gueorgui Makharadze, the Georgian Embassy official who killed a teenage girl in a drunk-driving crash in Washington, was sentenced to prison in 1997. According to a report published in the Washington Post, the Georgia government waived immunity for its deputy ambassador to US after the mother of the deceased girl campaigned for justice.